HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: A top aide of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has said that the reduced numbers of the former UCPN-Maoist combatants joining the Nepali Army would not affect the formation of a Directorate General into the Nepali Army.
Speaking at the Reporter’s Club today, PM’s Political Advisor Devendra Poudel said, “The numbers of the combatants joining the national force will not make any difference in forming the Directorate General. It should be formed despite being the reduced number of the PLAs intending to join the national army.”
Earlier, an agreement was reached for the formation of the Directorate General for National Development and Reconstruction, in the context of the planning to integrate 6,500 Maoist ex-combatants, and add up 65 per cent more from the army and other security organs to form the directorate general.
Now the figure of combatants intending to join the NA has been reduced to a total of 3,123 and among them in between 2,000-2,500 are expected to be eligible for this.
If so happens, the size of the said Directorate General would not be of more than 7,000 strong, for which many have been saying that a Directorate-General level stru-cture to be led by a Lt Gen or Maj Gen is not required.
“Earlier, the body’s size was expected to be of 18,000 plus,” Ram Sharan Mahat, a SC member and NC leader, recently told THT. “Now, the maximum size may be less than 6,000.